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Reflecting on the Past for a Better Future

Reflecting on the Past for a Better Future

Article by Erisa Nesimi Reflecting Courtyard, By Modaam Architects, in Tehran, Iran. Located in the same area as the settlements of Ancient Persia, Tehran is not the same city it used to be. The tradition of wonderful gardens which once made the Persian Empire famous through the ages has been lost in the attempts at progress towards a modernized world. In this article we are looking at a project which aims to bring back forgotten concepts that used to make these cities great. Modaam Architects frame their project as: “A hopeful attempt to recall these yards which are lost among the municipal codes, parking ramps and the gray mass of buildings” and “In search of lost yard”.

Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Reflecting Courtyard by Modaam Architects

Related also to its name, this is a project of reflection on the past. Their proposal is not only helpful towards the environment, but it’s a recall to the gardens of the past which made their environments enjoyable places in which to live. Lately, not only Tehean, but the world in general, is losing the vitality and spirit of places. But, what makes this project special?

Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Setting an Example for Future Projects A reflecting courtyard not only tries to learn from the past, but it also sets a benchmark for the future. Acting as a point of reference for other designs, the main concept of this project offers a lot to learn from. It represents an opportunity for better environments in which to live, work and play.
Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

It represents fewer environmental problems and healthier living conditions. The architects teach us that in order to build a better future, we should first look into the past. And certainly, in terms of urban development, Tehran can benefit a lot from these ideas. Transforming the Inner Atmosphere of the House Another reason why this design is so great is related to the way it has transformed the spaces, and how it has generated a variety of atmospheres. The garden is rather small in scale, but the impact on the surroundings is a considerable one.
Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Experiencing it from the inner spaces, the courtyard adds vitality; it appears as if the garden is extending towards the inner environments, removing the barriers between the inside and outside. The garden creates atmospheres and enjoyable experiences not only by being in the outdoors, but it has transformed the inner environments of the house too. Walking past the doors that lead to the yard, or even glancing through the window becomes a wonderful experience due to the landscape features.
Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Thoughtful Details Talking about landscape elements, the features which constitute this project are designed in such detail as to generate a unified design. The transition from the inside environment to the garden through the main door is emphasized by some simple extended steps of tiles and greenery, integrated with each other harmoniously. The hardscape is designed with brown tiles which emphasize the sense of warmth and organic quality of the project, whilst coordinating in perfect synchrony with the wall color.
Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Placed in the corners of the yard space, the benches are made of wood, an element which accentuates the natural spirit of this design. Each and every element of this garden works individually but also as part of a holistic designed space. The greenery is a very present element in this project and it constitutes a prolific and fertile environment, with shrubs, grasses, and trees, which are placed in a hierarchical order from the shortest ones in the entrance of the garden to the tallest ones in the corners. This way, they allow for the possibility of a thorough view of the garden space. See More Garden Projects: 

Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Lighting is another important feature. Generally speaking, gardens are thought of as places to enjoy only during the daytime, with little thought on how we can make them user-friendly in every period of the day. After all, time to relax is always needed, isn’t it?
Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

The architects here have thought about this issue too; well-placed lighting devices make this environment a wonderful experience during the evening and night. I would even say it becomes more vivid during the nighttime. We could not imagine a garden without water, could we? I guess you’re wondering how it is possible to include water features in such a small space.
Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

In a very creative way, the architects have introduced small-scale water details to emphasize the wonderful experience you can have in this garden. These elements are both beautiful and surprising. Water creates a feeling of movement and tranquility. I can only imagine the beautiful sounds of water throughout the yard.
Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Just when you thought there were no more details to consider, the architects have yet another surprise for you. At the surrounding wall, in front of the main entrance of the garden, the architects have placed a longitudinal mirror, which not only gives the illusion of a larger space, but also shows the hidden water fountain which is placed close to it. With this ingenious element added, the garden becomes literally a reflecting courtyard.
Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

With each element being in the right place, this project shows a brilliant idea on how to completely transform your gray, ugly patios – no matter how small the space is or how impossible it may seem to you. It’s not only aesthetic but also functional and sustainable. As part of their quest to bring back lost concepts, the architects created a garden to reflect in, but it is also a garden to reflect on; a garden to learn from. What other ways of reintroducing lost concepts using landscape can you think of? Would you like to have such design? Is there something you’d add to the project? Let us know in the comments below. Go to comments
Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Reflecting Courtyard. Image courtesy of Modaam Architects

Full Project Credits For the Reflecting Courtyard by Modaam Architects :

Project Name: Reflecting Courtyard Location: Tehran, Iran Client: Mr. Kardanpour Construction: Sazeh Sadr Architects: Modaam Architects Photographer: Alireza Behpour Learn more about Modaam: Website: www.modaam.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/modaam.architects LinkedIN: www.linkedin.com/in/modaam-architects Architizer: www.architizer.com/firms/modaam Blog: www.modaam.com/blog/ Recommended Reading:

Article by Erisa Nesimi

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